The 2013 Elks National Convention in Reno was no gamble for the Elks National Foundation. We arrived confident in our ability to help Elks build stronger communities through seminars, events and more. Thanks to all of our friends—old and new—who joined us at Convention, our already high expectations were exceeded.

Right up our Alley

We kicked off our time in Reno with our Board Meets Board dinner, where the ENF Board of Trustees and Elks Scholar Advisory Board members got to know one another.

We kept the good times rolling on Saturday evening at our Stars & Strikes event. Our good friends and supporters joined us for dinner and bowling at the National Bowling Stadium. Before we took to the lanes, we recognized our Community Investments Program Volunteer of the Year, Carolyn Shupe of Santa Barbara, Calif., Lodge No. 613, for leading many of the Lodge’s CIP grant projects. We also honored our Elks Scholar Alum of the Year, Jesse LeBeau, a 2005 Most Valuable Student scholar sponsored by Ketchikan, Alaska, Lodge No. 1429. In addition, our outgoing Board Chair C. Valentine Bates presented John Buza of St. George ‘Dixie’, Utah Lodge No. 1743 with a Platinum level donor plaque.

Excellence Exemplified

During our preliminary report on Monday, we heard from 2003 top Most Valuable Student scholarship winner Sean Loosli, who returned to the stage a decade after receiving his award to demonstrate how far he’s gotten thanks to the Elks.

Later in the week, we celebrated the success of all of our 2012-13 programs during the ENF Salute to Excellence reception. We were pleased so many were able to join us, such as loyal ENF supporters and volunteers; Impact Grantees; our top MVS scholarship winner, Grace Young; and the Hoop Shoot Getty Powell Award winners, Kiera Holcer and Landon Carroll. At the Salute to Excellence, we screened our 2013 Hoop Shoot National Finals Recap Video, courtesy of Elks scholar Clara Ritger, and our latest Elks Scholar Thank You Video.

Back to Business

Throughout Convention, we were at the ENF booth meeting supporters, answering questions, and distributing donor and volunteer ribbons. Booth visitors who opted into our mobile community were entered into a raffle to win an iPad mini. Jody Patterson of Asbury Park-Wall, N.J., Lodge No., 128 won the raffle, and received the iPad at the ENF Salute to Excellence.

When not at the booth, we could be found at our office hours or hosting one of our seminars, from which you can see the presentations here. Click here to watch the show of our seminar, Today’s Elks Scholars are Tomorrow’s Elks: Engaging Elks Scholars at your Lodge, which features a panel of Elks Scholars discussing how Lodges can get involved with ENF scholarship recipients. A video of our Beacon Grant Basics seminar, which details best practices for creating a project with this $2,000 grant, can be found here.

After a successful week, the ENF left Reno feeling like we won big. Thanks to everyone who helped make this Convention a success!

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